Roberto Martinez backs Man United’s under-fire Tom Cleverley to hit back

Roberto Martinez says he can't understand the criticisim being levelled at Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley

Everton manager Roberto Martinez Photo: Everton/PA

Roberto Martinez reckons Tom Cleverley will be motivated to be “as good as he can be” after recent criticism of the Manchester United midfielder.

Cleverley was a subject of a petition signed by over 17,000 supporters who are against the 23-year-old being included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup this summer.

Everton manager Martinez has been left bemused by the sheer volume of ill-feeling aimed at the Red Devils youth product, adding that Cleverley is the perfect professional.

I don’t think it will force him to hide or look away. I think it will be the opposite, he will be motivated to be as good as he can be

Roberto Martinez

“I don’t understand it. Tom is part of this new generation of outstanding English talent,” Martinez said.

“There are only a few players who look as if they could have been brought up in Holland or Spain or France because of their understanding of the game, their tactical awareness and their technical quality. Tom has got that.

“Then as a boy, he has got the perfect temperament. He is a level-headed boy. I just don’t understand this campaign.”

Martinez symphasised with Cleverley and suggested that the midfielder, who he worked with at Wigan Athletic, has been put under too much pressure at club and country for his age.

“Tom was maybe given a bigger role than he should have been given but all of a sudden he is being judged like this?” Martinez added.

“He’s young, he hasn’t played 200 Premier League games. It’s not his fault.

“It’s huge, you can’t imagine. Psychologically you need to be perfect to play in those games and that will affect your preparation.

“But I don’t think it will force him to hide or look away. I think it will be the opposite, he will be motivated to be as good as he can be.”

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